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Scan the Internet these days and you’ll likely see a study suggesting that one of your favorite drinks, snacks, or products has been linked to increased cancer risk. Sometimes, it seems like everything causes cancer. But, if we’re being honest, most of the products, drinks, and substances we use on a daily basis are man-made products that are filled with factory-made compounds and artificial ingredients. Because of the unnatural ingredients, it might not surprise some of you that artificial foods and products could increase the risk of cancer.

But it’s another thing entirely when medical researchers release a study showing a link between cancer and natural ingredients or products that have been processed. However, a study recently published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health shows a link between chicken and cancer. The study also poses a greater question — are the foods we eat causing cancer?

Analyzing Chicken Consumption & Cancer

While eating red meat has long been linked to an increased risk in cancer, chicken has been pushed by the medical community as a “healthier” white meat. But a study presented at the Society for Social Medicine and Population Health and International Epidemiology Association European Congress Annual Scientific Meeting 2019 suggests that there could be a link between eating processed chicken meat and a number of different cancers.

The study, which was lead by Dr. Anika Knuppel, a nutritional epidemiologist at the University of Oxford, tracked over 475,000 healthy middle-aged Britons for 5.7 years to see how their diet affected the development of diseases. The range of individuals who participated in the study were between the ages of 37 and 53, with 54% of study participants being women.

The study concluded that there was a relationship between chicken intake and malignant melanoma, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and prostate cancer in the British participants. The study also found that there was a positive link between regular red meat consumption and breast cancer, prostate cancer, and colorectal cancer as well.

Americans & Chicken Consumption

According to the National Chicken Council, Americans consume between 94 pounds and 110 pounds of poultry every year. Although physicians and epidemiologists recognize the potential link between cancer and meat consumption, more research examining the relationship between meat-eating and disease needs to be done before any conclusions can be reached.